History of Kalimpong
Kalimpong has come a long way since 1865 when it was just a small hamlet of 3 to 4 families having few cows. At present it has a population of about 70,000.Prior to 1864 the information cannot be authenticated as accounts are contradictory and vary from source to source. Due to this reason even the etyonology of its very name Kalimpong is not clear and has various theories.
From the Lepcha sources, “Kalenpung” means Ridges Where We Play. In Tibetan translation it means The Stockade of Kings Ministers, and the hill people also call “Kalimpong” as “Kalibong” meaning “Black Spurs”. However the Lepcha translation has found acceptance as the tribesman organized field sports and not engage in agricultural pursuits.
In spite of the unrecorded history and different theories, some things certain about the history of Kalimpong is that; it was previously a part of the Sikkim Kingdom which was inhabited by Lepchas(who called themselves the “Rong” or Ravine folk), the Bhutias and the Limbus.
Then in the early 1700s it came under the Bhutanese and became the headquarters of the Bhutanese govt for some time and so glimpses of Bhutanese influences can still be seen in the gumbas and the Bhutan house where the royalty resided. The entire area of Kalimpong and its surroundings was earlier known as “Dalimkote” of which Kalimpong was the headquater.